14.09.2014 - 14.09.2014
While my wife and I had previously been to the old capital of Japan, we both felt that it is beautiful enough to go again. There is two main sights that I prefer in Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera and Kinkakuji. The former is located on the hills to the south east of the city and from the main part you can see much of the city. A group of Japanese students approached us and offered to guide us around in order to practice their English. My first reaction was that it was a scam like in Morocco or Europe but then I remembered we are in Japan. Unfortunately, like the rest of the trip, most of the temple was under construction and covered by scaffolding.
Kinkakuji is the famous golden pavilion tea house. It is built on a small pond and is one of the top places I have seen in my travels. It is quite a distance from the other main sites in the city and after attempting the several kilometer walk, we finally relented and paid for the bus as we were running out of time. After jostling with the other tourists we managed a few good photos before the mosquitoes drove us off. Of at least me as neither my wife nor Ben seem to get bit while I am around.
Researching ahead of time for culinary specialties, I did not have much luck in finding any that would work. There is the imperial style dinners for around $100 or more, temple food composed of tofu that we already had back at Mt. Aso or pickles made with the byproducts of sake which doesn't work well in a cookbook as most people can't get that. Oddly enough, my other hobby of watching Japanese animation helped out as I spotted a piece of merchandise. It is a keychain with one of the characters of the show eating local specialties from around Japan. Takoyaki in Osaka, fried shrimp in Nagoya, etc. I didn't recognize the one from Kyoto but after a few Google searches and translation help from my wife, I figured out what it is. It is a square piece of mochi that is filled with a variety of sweet fillings. Chewy, sweet and delicious. I had quite a bit of free samples from the various stores we visited. The best is either the choco-banana or the cinnamon.